MARACAY, Venezuela – The USA Softball Pam American Qualifier team suffered its first loss of the Pan American Qualifier, 3-1 to Canada, with both the U.S. and Canada notching five hits but Canada's hits did the damage as two were homerun blasts. Its now time to battle back as the U.S. will have to win three games to get back to the Championship game beginning tomorrow morning at 9:30 a.m./CT against Argentina.
Canada managed to do what no team has done all through the qualifier by not only putting a run up on the board but also leaving the U.S. trailing for the first time in nine games. Melanie Matthews led off with a single in the bottom of the first, advancing to third off a sac bunt and a fly out. A wild pitch by pitcher Angela Tincher (Eagle Rock, Va.) allowed Matthews to cross home plate and give Canada an early 1-0 advantage.
Through the first two innings, the U.S. could not muster a run, leaving three runners stranded. The United States tied it up in the second with Vicky Galindo (Union City, Calif.) leading off with a double. Galindo moved to third when Caitlin Lowe (Tustin, Calif.) reached on an error by second baseman. Williams hit into a fielders choice with the third baseman going for the out at home. A throwing error by Kaleigh Rafter allowed Galindo to score, tying up the game.
Two base hits in the third inning including a leadoff homerun by Danielle Lawrie and a base hit caused a USA pitching change with Brandice Balschmiter (Newark, N.Y.) entering in for Tincher with no outs. Balschmiter issued the first strikeout of the game and with two other outs, closed out the inning with Canada up on the U.S. 2-1.
In the top of the fourth Ashley Hansen (Chandler, Ariz. ) led off with a single which would result in a Canada pitching change with Lawrie entering in. Three outs by the Canadian defense left one runner stranded.
Canada edged their lead to 3-1 in the fourth off a solo homerun by Rafter. It looked like the USA was going to mount a comeback in the sixth but it just wasn't in the cards. With one out, K'Lee Arredondo (Tempe, Ariz.) led off with a single bunt but would have to be lifted as she pulled a hamstring after reaching first. Maggie Viefhaus (Eureka, Mo.) entered in to pinch run and would be called out for leaving early which brought third base coach Pat Murphy (Northport, Ala.) out to argue the call. The call stood leaving the U.S. trailing 3-1.
Canada loaded up the bases in the bottom of the sixth with a walk, error and an Intentional walk. A U.S. double play left runners stranded. The U.S. had three groundouts in the top of the seventh, giving Canada a 3-1 victory over the United States for the first time in six games this summer.
The U.S. will now have to battle back facing Argentina at 9:30 a.m./CT. The winner of that game will advance to play another elimination game at 2:30 p.m./CT. It will be the winner of Dominican Republic vs. Cuba/Venezuela.
The Amateur Softball Association, founded in 1933, is the National Governing Body of softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. The ASA has become one of the nation's largest sports organizations and now sanctions competition in every state through a network of 83 local associations. The ASA has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 240,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than three million. For more information on the ASA, visit http://www.asasoftball.com/.
About USA Softball
USA Softball is the brand created, operated and owned by the ASA that links the USA Men's, Women's, Junior Boys' and Junior Girls' National Team programs together. USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting these four National Teams to compete in international and domestic competitions. The USA Softball Women's National Team is one of the only two women's sports involved in the Olympic movement to capture three consecutive gold medals at the Olympic Games since 1996. The U.S. women have also won eight World Championship titles including the last six consecutive as well as claimed two World Cup of Softball titles. For more information about USA Softball, please visit http://www.usasoftball.com/.
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